You've probably seen that it's possible to work from home using Rodan and Fields and you're now asking if it's a pyramid scheme or a scam.
I'll tell you right now that Rodan and Fields is not a scam.
But is it the best opportunity for you to make money from home?
This unbiased Rodan and Fields review, with videos, will expose the true pros and cons of the MLM.
Then you can make an informed decision if it's for you or not.
Rodan and Fields Review
The overview and rankings
Name: Rodan and Fields
Founders: Dr. Katie Rodan & Dr. Kathy Fields in 2002
Website URL: rodanandfields.com
Type: Skincare MLM
Products (Including Pricing): 50 out of 100
Success Stories: 5 out of 100
Price To Join MLM: $45 to start + $395-$995 starter kit
100SV per month = ~$100 per month (30 out of 100)
What To Look For In An MLM:
Rodan & Fields Pros
Rodan & Fields Cons
Summary: Rodan and Fields is a personal care MLM. They sell skincare products to help people get rid of acne.
Due to the expensive products and sales quota, which active consultants must hit each month, it works in a very similar way to a "pyramid scheme in disguise". Hence, the only way for consultants to make good money is by recruiting more people into the MLM company.
Make Time Online Rating: 38 out of 100
What is Rodan and Fields?
Rodan and Fields is a personal care Multi-Level-Marketing company that sells skincare products to help people get rid of acne.
It was founded by best friends, Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields in 2002. They are qualified dermatologists so they have a lot of experience working in the skincare industry.
Rodan and Fields offers everyday people the chance to make money through the "direct sales" business model.
It's really the same as an MLM business model, as you will notice when you see the compensation plan, but some companies try to avoid using this term due to the negative connotation.
You can find out more about the business from the founders in the 2-minute video below...
It seems like a pretty legit opportunity, right?
Well you're smart enough to know this is just a promotional video from Rodan and Fields.
So you're probably still wondering...
Is Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme?
No, Rodan and Fields is not a pyramid scheme.
They sell legit products and their consultants can make money from selling these products.
Most decent MLM companies do this too, but a more appropriate question to ask about any MLM company is...
Is Rodan and Fields a "pyramid scheme in disguise"?
What is a pyramid scheme?
A company that promises payment to members for recruiting more people rather than selling a product or service.
Most MLM companies do sell some sort of product or service.
However, some MLM companies use these products to hide the fact that the only way their consultants can earn good money is by recruiting more people.
These companies act like a "pyramid scheme in disguise".
This Rodan and Fields review will investigate the company in more detail later, but for now you can learn how to spot these "pyramid schemes in disguise" in the 5 minute video below...
Success is hard to find with Rodan and Fields
In fact, success is hard to find in any MLM company.
Did you know that between 73% and 99% of all MLM representatives lose money?
Rodan and Fields fits into this range with at least 90% of their "active consultants" losing money according to their income disclosure.
And that data is only taken from the consultants that did earn some commission in that year (46% were consultants that didn't earn a penny).
This means that 95% of all consultants lost money in 2018.
It doesn't mean it's impossible to earn money from Rodan and Fields, but it's important to be aware of this before diving in.
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How does Rodan and Fields work?
Rodan and Fields produces a range of skincare products.
But rather than marketing these products themselves they save on advertising costs by getting everyday people to help them.
In return, these consultants can earn a commission for any sales they make and bonuses from sales their "downline" makes.
It's like a win-win in theory!
Rodan and Fields products
If you are seriously considering joining any MLM company then you will need to understand their products in more detail if you want to see any success.
There are dozens of different products at Rodan and Fields that fall under one of the following product lines:
- Redefine - cleansing mask, toner, eye cream etc. ($20-$384)
- Reverse - sunscreen, exfoliation, toner etc. ($42-$376)
- Recharge- mask, cleanser, sunscreen etc. ($40-$342)
- Unblemish- Acne treatment, toner etc. ($30-$320)
- Spotless- acne wash, clearing treatment etc. ($34-$297)
- Soothe- Replenishing cream, gentle cream wash ($42-$311)
- Enhancements- lash boost, serum, SPF makeup etc. ($36-$331
- Essentials- Vitamin D supplement, moisturizer, sunscreen etc. ($19-$32)
As you can see there is a lot on offer but most of it is based around skin care and, in particular, removing acne.
You need to be aware that there are a lot of other MLMs that offer similar product such as:
The competition is fierce in this industry!
So to understand how Rodan and Fields stands out let's dig into the...
Rodan and Fields Redefine Regimen - flagship product
It's hard to say exactly what Rodan and Fields main product is, but it's worth mentioning their "Lash Boost" tends to be very popular (even though this is definitely not what the owners focus on!)
The main thing Rodan and Fields focus on is their "regimens" and in particular their "redefine regimen"...
- Cleansing mask
- Sunscreen 30 SPF
- Restorative cream
- Rejuvenation mask
- Face mask brush
- Tool to apply face mask
This Rodan and Fields review will look into the price of these products later on. But for now let's understand the unique selling points.
These products help your skin to feel:
- more hydrated
- smoother skin
- more healthier looking
You can see more about the products and benefits here.
There are mixed reviews around the products on the internet, with the most common one being the price as an issue (they're really expensive).
But if you want to learn more about the range of products you can watch the 5-minute video below...
How to make money with Rodan and Fields MLM
This is likely the part that you are interested in if you are reading this Rodan and Fields review.
So let's get into it...
There are 2 ways you can make money as a R&F consultant:
- Sell their products to earn commission
- Recruit more people and earn bonuses from their sales
So you don't actually earn money by recruiting people.
You just earn bonuses and commissions from any sales or purchases your "downine" make. This is another way that Rodan and Fields avoids being called an outright pyramid scheme.
How much does it cost to join Rodan and Fields?
It costs $45 to get the "business portfolio" and become a consultant.
Once you have that you will be encouraged to purchase a "business kit" that ranges in price for $395, $695 or $995.
Each kit has a different set of samples, tools and regimens for your personal use or to sell on.
You can find all of the information for the business kits here.
But the costs do not stop there amigo...
Rodan and Fields monthly cost
This is the part that often takes people by surprise and is the number 1 reason as to why so many people lose money from MLMs...
To remain "active" and get commission for the sales you make you have to hit a "sales quota" every month.
At Rodan and Fields this is 100 "SV", which is around $100 worth of products that you need to sell every month.
If you cannot sell that amount then you will need to stump up the costs yourself.
This means in reality the total cost to get started for your first year is:
- $395, $695 or $995
- $100 x 12
Year 1 expenses = $1,640- $2,240
Obviously this is a lot less than starting a typical bricks and mortar business like a restaurant. However it's certainly more than $45!
Rodan and Fields compensation plan
For some reason MLM companies like to make their compensation plans harder to understand than a strong Scottish accent.
Rodan and Fields is no different.
So I will do my best to keep this simple...
There are 5 ways you can get paid from Rodan and Fields...
- Retail profit (16%-25% commissions)
- Consultant commissions (10% commission from L1 downline)
- Personal team commissions (5% commission on CV from your personal team)
- Generation commissions (more bonuses from your team)
- Performance bonuses
Seriously just look at that crazy table above!
You don't need to know all the details here to get started and they make it seem like there's far more ways to get paid than there really are.
In reality all you do is:
- Sell products
- Recruit people
And do you notice that 4 out of 5 ways to get paid require you to recruit people?
If you want to understand the compensation plan a bit more then feel free to watch this pretty confusing 5 minute video...
Or find the full 15 page Rodan and Fields compensation plan here.
Is Rodan and Fields a scam?
No Rodan and Fields is not a scam.
They sell legit products and they pay their consultants exactly like they say they will.
However, is this the best work from home opportunity for you?
Only you can be the judge and the rest of this Rodan and Fields review will help you decide...
Just to be fully transparent with you, I am not a distributor myself and I do not endorse Rodan and Fields in any way.
I have researched the website, testimonials and information on the Internet to get to the bottom of what this program genuinely does. This is because I have been burnt from programs just like this in the past and I want to prevent others from making the same mistakes. If you’d like to learn how to “Spot an Online Marketing Scam” then click the highlighted text.
Common positive reviews
Here are some of the common positive reviews that we have found in Indeed where people are talking about its job opportunity...
- "If you are motivated and people oriented you can make money with Rodan & Fields. This is a flexible work from home position. I did not like the required minimum product purchase as a consultant and subscription to their website (at the time over $100) each month to qualify for earnings from your sales."
- "Over a three year period I spent more than I love the flexible work schedule. Work at your own pace. Lots of training available. Make your own hours. Clients love products. Rewarding business. Unlimited success."
Common negative reviews
And here are some of the common negative reviews we also have found in Indeed...
- "The products were phenomenal but getting people to pay those prices in small town USA on something that they have to replenish every two months proved to be a huge obstacle."
- "Do you like meeting new people and improving their lives with amazing skin care? But if your answer is no, then this is not the company for you."
What I like about Rodan and Fields
So there are some things that I like about the Rodan and Fields MLM program.
It helps to prove that Rodan and Fields is not a scam.
- Pyramid Scheme – recruits members via a promise for payment from referring others to the service rather than providing a product
- Affiliate Marketing- Connecting a customer to a product they are looking for and receiving a commission for doing so
- Red Flag - A warning sign
#1 Proven history
Did you know that only 1 in 3 MLM companies last longer than 10 years?
Well Rodan and Fields was founded in 2002.
The long history proves that Rodan and Fields is not a scam and is not likely to just disappear tomorrow.
#2 Positive product reviews
So many MLM companies have spam reviews because there are so many "consultants" trying to sell the products.
However on Consumer Affairs you can get a very honest look into a companies products...
You can tell that some reviews are honest and there are many 4 star reviews, which suggest people aren't being overly biased.
This is a great sign as it shows that real people are using Rodan and Fields products.
Also, many of the negative reviews were actually to do with the MLM itself and the "pyramid style" commission structure rather than poor products.
#3 Credible founders
The founders are qualified dermatologists and not just some wannabe rich entrepreneurs trying to make a quick buck.
To run a successful MLM company for this long is impressive and they should be super proud of what they've achieved.
However, if you're like me, you probably aren't interested in how well the founders are doing. You probably want to know, "will this business be profitable for me?"
Well let's see...
What I don't like about Rodan and Fields
There are some hidden truths about Rodan and Fields (and many MLMs) that people do not realise until it's too late.
It is possible to make money from them, but how likely is it?
#1 Expensive products
This is always the first thing I check in any MLM company.
Just look at what is on offer on the market...
- Rodan and Fields Cleansing mask = $10.48/ oz
- Amazon cleansing masks = $0.62- $7.84/ oz
It costs 25%-1500% more for very similar products elsewhere.
Now, you're probably thinking... well maybe it's only for this cleansing mask?
So let's work out the difference in cost between some highly rated products on Amazon and Rodan and Fields flagship products...
- Paula's choice toner (4 oz) = $29.50 (4.4 out of 5 stars from almost 2,000 reviews)
- Thrive moisturising sunscreen (2 oz) = $24.95 (4.3 out of 5 stars from over 200 reviews)
- Aveeno restorative cream (1.7 oz) = $18.77 (4.4 out of 5 stars from 500 reviews)
- Allurey eye mask (15 pairs) = $14.90 (4.8 out of 5 stars from over 1,000 reviews)
Total cost of highly rated Amazon products = $115.11
Rodan and Fields = $256 or $230 with PC Perks
I'm going to be totally honest with you here. I really don't know what makes great skin care products. However, all of the products I have found in about 10 minutes of research have hundreds if not thousands of positive reviews.
They all contain very similar if not identical ingredients and many of them have more ounces in the pack.
Yet Rodan and fields still costs 120% more than exactly the same type of products!
I even saw this a lot on consumer affairs...
I may not know a great deal about skincare but the 1 star reviews all say very similar things!
When you combine this with the next hidden truth, you start seeing the true colors of the company...
#2 Hidden monthly expenses
Hidden truth number 1 is not the end of the world by itself for an MLM company.
But when you add in the fact that you need to sell a certain amount every month to stay active it does become concerning...
If you don't sell $100+ worth of products every month, guess who has to buy it?
Yeah you, the Rodan and Fields consultant!
This is a huge red flag because it's a sign that Rodan and Fields operates like a pyramid scheme in disguise.
Recruiters sales pitch to people becomes...
"Buy these expensive products and you can also earn pocket money"
"These are the best reasonably priced products I have found"
Very few people will be able to sell $100+ of skin care products straight away. This means the only way to offset the cost is by recruiting people into the MLM...
#3 Is Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme in disguise?
The first 2 points together make it very likely that Rodan and Fields operates like a "pyramid scheme in disguise".
But just look at their compensation plan...
Does this look familiar?...
If that isn't enough to make you see that the only way you can earn a decent income (or not lose money) with Rodan and Fields is by recruiting, the take this into account:
- 4 out of 5 ways you get paid requires you to recruit
- the majority of consultants lose money
This brings us nicely onto...
#4 Most cosultants fail
We've already established that 95% of all consultants lose money at Rodan and Fields as you can see in their income disclosure...
But only 0.3% of all consultants earn over $15k a year.
That means that only 1 in 333 consultants earn over $15k a year!
Find the full Rodan and Fields income disclosure here to see for yourself.
#5 Downward trend
The final nail in the coffin for me is found on Google Trends...
Most MLM companies have a "early momentum phase". If you can get in before this phase it's possible to make the most of the increasing interest in the company to attract more people to it.
However, Rodan Fields is now on the decline.
Newer companies such as Farmasi are still rising sharply and prove that there are potentially better opportunities out there.
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My opinion - Rodan and Fields MLM
OK let's get to the point.
Here's what I think about this work from home opportunity...
The expensive products and monthly sales quota means that you are going to have to recruit people into the company to make any decent money from this MLM.
That means that it really operates like a pyramid scheme in disguise.
When you add the fact that the company is on a downward trend, it will be super hard to find people interested in joining.
If you are a beauty influencer or someone that knows how to use online marketing, then it may be possible to make money from Rodan and Fields.
But it's not really the most ethical way to make money knowing what you know now...
How I make passive income online
MLMs are not scams or illegal. However, I'm not a fan of them because of the restrictions to the expensive products you have to promote.
Once I learnt about affiliate marketing, I realised it's a far superior business model because:
- You can promote anything you want and truly own the business
- You never need to sell to friends and family
- It's completely free to start
In 2018 I had no idea what affiliate marketing was.
But I went from a full time PE teacher to making a passive income online within one year...
If you want to discover how I did it then check out this special video I created which explains exactly how. You can also get your free 7-day bootcamp to get started.
Wow great information about this company. You really dig into it. I’ve never heard of this company but I know a thing a two about MLM because I’ve tried them in the past and it never worked out. All they want me to do is recruit people and I always ask myself “should I try to sell these people the products or should I recruit them”? also I seem to lost a lot of friends while doing this MLM or pyramid scheme. But thanks great information.
It’s such a shame how many relationships are ruined from MLM companies. I think more and more people are becoming aware of the truth behind them, but it’s still not right!
I really appreciate all the effort you have made in reviewing this scheme and like you I am not fond of MLM schemes as often you have to be high enough up to tree in order to make any money. Expensive products does not necessarily make good products, as often cheap ingredients are used at inflated prices. They are using their credentials as dermatologists to sell their products and this is where the problem lies, as obviously they will be biased in promoting their own products, whilst better products may exist. The prices of the starter kits is way too high and the need to make a certain amount of money per month really takes the biscuit. It would help if the product is better known but as it isn’t will make it difficult to sell the products. I think most people will lose money rather than make any money.
What is the technical difference between a MLM and a pyramid scheme, as I always wanted to know?
Affiliate marketing is purely earning a commission from selling someone elses product. MLM you can do that but the main way people earn money is by recruiting.
Typically Affiliate marketing is done online whilst MLMs encourage people to “network” aka stalk people on Facebook.
Check out this article which explains it more MLM vs Affiliate Marketing
I have been a consultant for this company for five years and would like to contradict your conclusions based on my experience. Yes, I’m biased as I do enjoy working with this company. However, I have also owned my own brick and mortar company and done other consulting work so I do have some knowledge in that arena as well.
Unlike what you’ve claimed, I don’t have a team. I have one person below me that does some work but not much and that’s okay. I however, do love the products and sell them. While I’m not retiring with them (and I don’t push to make that so), I am making a good income from the products ON MY OWN, not from a team as you claimed was the only way to make money. I do not treat this as my business, like many do, and I’m very open about that but I also am happy making $1,500 to $2,000 a month off of my efforts. You claim that you can’t make money just off selling products and I am proving that wrong. Skincare is a multi-billion dollar company and getting bigger. In my opinion, based on my experience, this company has been nothing but honest, trustworthy and open about products, practices and how much anyone can make. No one told me I could even make $1,500 extra a month. I was told that a feasible income would be $500. And that was attractive to me. We are very open when speaking with people that this is “normal” for consultants. Not that you can make a million a year (which a friend of mine who started not long before me does – great for her!), but that it’s an extra income. Like any business, you treat it like a business, you can make it a business – and make more money.
Now, as I mentioned, I owned a brick and mortar business that I had to shut down and the cost to start that business versus the money I spent to start R&F was not even comparable. I’m still losing money (having the building for sale, but not the business anymore) with the brick and mortar business, yet I continue to make money with R&F while doing very little.
I do understand why people assume an MLM is a scam – however, there are good companies out there and R&F is one of them. They treat everyone fairly and honestly and have done things many times to renew my faith in large corporations.
That is amazing that you’ve managed to do that, you must have worked very hard on it and you should be proud of what you’ve achieved!
Thanks for your personal experience and I’m sure a lot of people will enjoy learning about that.
Not all MLMs are scams at all but some people do not really understand what they are getting into before they join. All I want to do is try to help people see the full picture, and I am in no way trying to make it sound like it’s impossible to make any money from joining.
I know plenty of people that do well from MLMs and approach it very ethically like it sounds like you have.
Please do keep us posted on how it goes in the future. Wishing you all the best
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